A leading presidential aspirant of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Ambassador Iyorwuese Hagher, has said that the rising spate of vote buying as a result of alleged desperation of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to hold on to power at all costs, might endangered the country’s democracy if all stakeholders failed to rise against it.
Briefing journalists, yesterday in Abuja on his manifesto tagged, “Master key for greater Nigeria” if elected president during the 2019 general elections after he must have been given the opportunity to fly his party’s flag, Hagher also identified poverty as a major threat to democracy.
He said: “The desperate attempts by incumbent to retain power at all costs could fatally derail the freedom of the voters and one-person one-vote and the electoral value.
“The APC government wants to win elections at all cost; the Ekiti and Osun elections leave little to be desired. There was reckless buying of votes, deployment of security agents. It is unacceptable to me. They should not push the button too hard”.
Hagher, a Professor of Theatre and Drama, noted that extreme poverty in the country gave birth to cash for vote, insecurity and unviable civil society groups which have constituted a huge threat to free, fair and credible elections in the country.
The presidential aspirant therefore warned Nigerians against money politics ahead of next year’s general elections.
Hagher, who is also the President, African Leadership Institute in USA, lamented that the Nigerian masses are deliberately impoverished to deny them their freedom to elect candidates of their choice.
While referring to the SDP national convention holding today (Saturday) in Abuja, he said: “The delegates will come; those who will give them money will give them money but they will vote for me”.
The former ambassador vowed that given the opportunity to lead the country, he would implement his manifesto, which he described as a crystalization of all the ideas he had documented to make Nigeria a great country.
“My entry for the presidential race is to enable me put to practice my plan to make Nigeria a great nation through my vision, dreams and hopes that have fully documented over the years as the master key to Nigeria’s greatness.
“No other Nigerian presidential aspirant apart from Obafemi Awolowo can compare with me in laying down a systematic plan of action to make Nigeria a colossus among nations”, he stressed.
If elected, Hagher promised to “unite Nigerians to be Nigerians and not tribal men and women”, adding that education would be massively funded “to enhance employment, productivity and the country’s entry in the world’s forth industrial reconciliation -the artificial intelligence revolution that is changing the life of the people”.
The presidential aspirant also promised massive investment in the youth “as Nigeria’s human resources and set up a Nigerian vision 2050 which Nigeria will become the world’s biggest economy by combined potential of our human and natural resources”.